sudden light was blinding. Instead of the rotten cabbages and ominous
ooze of the alleys I had been running through, I saw clean floor and
gleaming machinery. The room was transected by radiating chords of
stainless steel and translucent acrylic lit by LEDs. These umbilicals
stretched away from me down the walls and across the ceiling. The entire
room seemed to throb to the beat of a nameless goo powered through the
tubes by a bank of clattering conventional pumps and untold millions of
nano-pumps lodged in the stomata of the enveloping plumbing.
Momentarily blinded by the shear monstrosity and the immensity of mechanics
around me I almost failed to see my adversary. There he was, lodged
behind a narrow banks of displays and toggles. The reflection from the
dials before him cast a penumbra around his silk robes and cast his long
wispy goatee as a silhouette.
After years of searching and a harrowing night of hide-and-seek through
the mephitic alleys of the Feudal Quarter, I had found his lair. This
was the source of the cow serum. Given the size of the apparatus, the
entire region must have functioned as his own private abatoire.